Nine Springboks have been included in Steve Hansen’s Barbarians team that will take on Fiji next week. The match 23 has been finalised and also includes 8 All Blacks, 5 Pumas and one Samoan player.
Of the nine South African players included, 8 are in the current Bok squad, with long time injury returnee and Bok veteran Schalk Burger making a return to the international scene for the first time since the 2011 Rugby World Cup as the ninth. Hansen has included 3 Boks in his backline, including Springbok captain Jean de Villiers and the very exciting Willie le Roux. With the debate raging around Pat Lambie and not just whether he is good enough for the Bok team, but whether he is best suited to the 10 or 15 jersey, it will be interesting to see where Hansen will play him (unless he is played in his fauvored position – off the bench). Tom Taylor is the only other flyhalf selected in the 23, so it would seem that Lambie is in fact selected as a flyhalf, although both fullback Santiago Cordero and scrumhalf Martin Lamdajo of Argintina are also comfortable playing in the flyhalf channel.
The 5 remaining South Africa players, Bismarck Du Plessis, Beast Mtwarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Eben Etzebeth and Duane Vermuelen are all likely to start for the Boks against France this weekend, with Coenie Oosthuizen being the only player not regularly starting in the Bok pack.
Hansen has selected a relatively young team, with 16 of the 23 players selected aged 25 and younger and the average age of the team being 24.
Outside Bakcs – Willie le Roux (South Africa), Santiago Cordero (Argentina), Charles Piutau (New Zealand), Frank Halai (New Zealand)
Centres – Jean de Villiers (South Africa), Gavin Williams (Samoa)
Flyhalfs – Patrick Lambie (South Africa), Tom Taylor (New Zealand),
Scrumhalfs – TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), Martin Landajo (Argentina)
Hookers – Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa)
Props – Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa), Guillermo Roan (Argentina), Coenie Oosthuizen (South Africa), Matias Diaz (Argentina)
Locks – Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), Dominic Bird (New Zealand), Manuel Carizza (Argentina)
Loose Forwards – Steven Luatua (New Zealand), Luke Whitelock (New Zealand), Schalk Burger (South Africa), Duane Vermeulen (South Africa)Tweet